Question Time (1979– )

TV Series  |   |  News, Talk-Show
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Politicians, public office-holders and celebrities face questions on topical issues from a studio audience.

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Series cast summary:
David Dimbleby ...
 Himself - Chairman / ... (768 episodes, 1994-2015)
Robin Day ...
 Himself - Chairman / ... (303 episodes, 1979-1989)


Each week a panel of politicians, journalist and comment writers is chaired by David Dimbleday as they accept questions from the audience. Each of the three major political parties are represented in order to give each an opportunity for their party and their politics to be represented as the topics of the week are raised and discussed in a lively forum that moves to a different part of the UK each week for broadcast. Written by bob the moo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


News | Talk-Show



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Release Date:

25 September 1979 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Several companion services have been tried for further discussion around issues raised on this show. From September 2007-July 2009 "Question Time Extra", a viewers' text and e-mail show was broadcast on the BBC News channel. In 2012, a Question Time Extra Guest, being a notable person who comments along live on Twitter, was added. In May 2013, a 3-hour radio phone-in including simulcast, "Question Time Extra Time" began on BBC Radio 5 Live. See more »


Spoofed in On the Waterfront: Episode #2.7 (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

A great show, Really a highlight of the BBC.
8 March 2007 | by (Birmingham) – See all my reviews

***Tip: Have It Read To You, Heres How*** 1) Copy And Paste This To Notepad (NOT WORD) 2) Go To. START>ALL PROGRAMS>ACCESSORIES>ACCESSABILTY>NARRATOR

Question Time does exactly what it says on the tin. Its a current affairs program that features political members that represent each of the three main parties and an independent party member if we are lucky. If we are unlucky we get some comic or singer, but more on those later.

Anyway what is it that makes me tune into a poorly time slotted, hour long program that features questions from the general public? Well firstly its the only real program that get politicians to explain themselves and there parties stance on policies. If anyone has seen Prime Ministers questions then they will know how every question is thought out in a way to not make their own party look stupid, this means you will never get a question on why a certain bill that failed to improve or change anything was passed because the other party(s) would have know doubt backed it, Meaning we are left with endless questions like "Prime Minister, When will you stand down?".

The second reason that I tune in is because it one of the only debate programs on TV that don't hold topics like "Will Britney Spears ever get another no. 1 single?"... What sort of people care? I want questions and debates about what is in the Newspapers. This isn't saying that the show doesn't have topics that feature celebrities as a back drop but normally use the situation the celebrity was in rather then the character themselves. For example one question was "Does TV put ratings before safety" using the then recent death of Steve Erwin and the life threatening accident of Richard Hammond. Another was when Jade Goody was in the news for bulling Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in Celebrity Big Brother, it showed the most people (from the audience reaction) don't like this new fad celebrity culture and most of all don't like talentless bullies with no education. It was the only show at the time that didn't make its seem like Chavs rule and Jade was to silly to know what she was doing so she should not face the music therefore.

These questions are few though (Which is a good thing for me as it stops it become something that would be more at home on MTV) and the main part of the show are about political events and the government. Many good debates are raised with this, The most recent being the one about the American air force pilots in Iraq and the video that the government had that showed the incident. What happened was that two US air force pilots killed a British tanker in friendly fire and the family of the solider were not given full details of the incident and wanted an inquiry. The British government had the tape but said they didn't (Which can only be seen to protect US army and not the UK troops that serve them). The Sun newspaper got hold of the tape and released details which meant that the tape could now be used as evidence. What the debate was about was why did the British government put the soldiers family through all that distress and not help them in their quest to find out what happened to their son. Its what I like about this show is seeing politicians who make decisions based on money and public relations, faced who thoughts with human emotions and heart which sees them 9 times out of 10 trying to use spin on answers and say things that begin "We are grateful with the job our forces..." or "Firstly let me just say..." and continue on a different path completely.

What lets this show down is that it seems to think that having popular singers or comics on it will appeal to a younger audience, most youngish people I know think that having pop culture icons on ruins the show. In fact, regardless of age everyone I know thinks that the celebrities on the show are its only akillis heel. Why? Well my opinion is that they are the only ones on the show that consistently appeal for the applause of the audience, in an episode with Beverly Knight when asked about an obese teenage and if the government should step in, she said something like "Its a family breakdown" the audience applauded and she then used this again on a completely different question later in the show about hoddies or something. One other was Scottish Sikh comic Hardeep Singh Kohli, in Scotland and the questions about Scottish independence came up, one member of the panel said Scotland and England have had 300 years of union to be proud of only to be interrupted by Hardeep Singh Kohli to say "300 years of union is one word but 300 years of segregation is a better word". Which got a round of applause and then continued to slag off England till a member of the panel (Who was also Scottish) said this could be call xenophobia. I don't really care about the fact that he said these thing as I see my self a both English and British but what really got to me was that he had revealed that he "Lives In London For His Sins". What a jerk! If he don't like England and feels that Scots are being persecuted why live as far south from Scotland as you can get? I have seen Hardeep Singh Kohli stand up act on the Comedy Store and most of it was at the expense of English women and English culture, after seeing him on Question Time I realized that it isn't an act, he really holds a grudge about something.

Anyway great show, just needs to keep away the Heat magazine fodder.

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